Low intensity steady state cardio (LISS) and high intensity interval training (HIIT) are both excellent forms of cardio. Many people wonder which form is truly better. Although similar in benefits, LISS and HIIT are more different than you think. Think of LISS as a long distance runner and HIIT as a short distance sprinter. Deciding which is best for you comes down to a few different factors.
Jogging, riding your bike, doing the stairmaster, and moderate swimming are all examples of low intensity steady state cardio. Steady state means moving at a moderate pace for an extended period of time. Steady state is not as taxing on the body as interval training, which makes it a great option for beginners or those prone to injuries. It’s also a great way to burn unwanted calories. On average, 10 calories are burnt for every minute jogging so if you jog for 30-45 minutes, that’s about 300-450 calories burnt.
Sprints, jump rope, mountain climbers, and weight training circuits are a few examples of high intensity interval training. Interval training consists of short periods of intense exercise followed by slightly longer periods of rest. The goal is to push yourself to maximum potential during those short periods of time and recover as much as possible during the rest time. An example would be to reach your max for 15 to 30 seconds, followed by 30 seconds to a minute rest, for a total of 10-15 minutes. Interval training can burn almost the same amount of calories as steady state cardio in half the time, however it is much more physically taxing on the body.
To decide which form of cardio is best for you, you need to focus on a few key factors. The first factor is the condition your body is in. If you’ve had several injuries or have not exerted your body for quite some time, you can transition to HIIT only after working your way up from LISS sessions. The next factor is how much time you have available for workouts. If you have very limited time, HIIT is probably a better option. Regardless of what route you decide to take always be safe, ease into it and make sure to have fun while doing so. If you’d like to hear more on LISS vs HIIT cardio, you can check out my video down below: